BC Battle Tested
Makes sense, right? I mean, if a horse was able to soundly defeat its foes last time, it stands to reason that the animal stands a decent shot to do it again today. Conversely, it would seem logical to conclude that the opposite is also true: if a horse wins narrowly, say by less than a length, it is a poor betting proposition next time out.
Of course, this suggests that big winners are all too obvious to the betting public, which got me thinking: Given the less wagering-centric crowd that the Breeders’ Cup typically attracts, might one be able to exploit this fact at the windows? In other words, would one do better by taking a contrarian view of last-race winners and upgrading narrow victors, while downgrading those that won by large margins?
If history is any guide, the answer appears to be “yes.” Since 2003, horses that won their last start by three lengths or more have accumulated the following stats:
Races (horses): 72 (143)
So, with that in mind, here are some (potential) horses to watch this year:
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For more data like this, be sure to check out my 2012 Breeders' Cup Betting Guide. In addition to all kinds of unique stats and insightful articles, the Guide also contains past performances — with my pace figures and Win Factor Report fair odds — for all the likely BC entrants.
Frankel’s Swan Song
Still, the Champion could be Frankel’s sternest test yet, as he faces the battle hardened Cirrus Des Aigles, who won the event last year. Even though he’s now six years old, Cirrus Des Aigle has been very impressive this year and his trainer, Corine Barande-Barbe, believes he may still be improving.
“Whatever happens, it will be a great experience and we will enjoy it,” the veteran conditioner concluded. “If he wins, I will be pleased, but I won't be surprised… I'm not scared of Frankel.”
Nor am I. Given the odds, I think “Cirrus” might be a reasonable alternative to the favorite, who is sure to have additional money rained down upon him due to the fact that the Champion is his final race.
10/20/12 Charles Town
10/20/12 Santa Anita Park